Before I leave my parents place, my mom always asks me what food she can send back with me. I usually tell her I don’t want anything (though I never leave empty-handed), but this time I made a request: beresta.

Simply put, beresta is fried onion. It’s used as a garnish on pretty much everything, in particular rice, daal, and kormas. I thought it would be a nice thing to have on hand to sprinkle on top of a dish to give it a bit of texture and flavor from home.

So, full disclosure – I didn’t make this recipe myself. My mom did. I just watched it being made and then came home with the goods.

2 cups red onion or shallots, finely sliced
1 cup cooking oil or ghee

1. Heat a deep pan and when it’s hot, add the oil. Allow the oil to heat as well (until it starts to spit).
2. Add the onions to the pan. Gently mix in so that the onions are evenly spread. and then allow the mix to start boiling. Then lower the heat. {If your pan is not big enough and the onions are piled on top of one another, it’s best to cook the beresta in two batches so that they cook evenly and don’t become soggy.}
3. The browning and crisping process takes around 45 minutes (up to an hour) as it is done on low heat. Over that time period, stir the onion often to make sure all the slices brown and crisp evenly.
4. Once the onions are crispy, transfer them onto a paper towel so that the excess oil is absorbed. Spread the onions out as they cool so that they don’t clump.
5. Once completely cool, transfer into a air-tight container (zip lock bag or jar).
6. Add as a topping to any dish you’d like and enjoy the crunch!